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Designing Standard Tab and Menu Icons for Android Apps

When designing mobile apps or designing graphics for Android apps, one must conform to certain guidelines. Re-using graphics designed for other operating systems, especially desktop-based, is not a good idea. Foreign icons will look out of place at best, or will render your Android apps appear hardly recognizable at worst.

Designing Tab and Menu Icons for Android Apps Description: When designing mobile apps or designing graphics for mobile apps, one must conform to srict guidelines. Re-using graphics made for other operating systems, especially desktop-based, is generally not a good idea. Foreign images will look out of place at best, or will make your Android apps appear hardly recognizable at worst. Body: There are precise guidelines published in reference to Android icons. Different design guidelines are published for tab icons and menu images.

Android Icons for Navigation Toolbars

Tab icons represent individual tabs in tabbed interface. Tab icons should be provided in two different states: selected and unselected. It is recommended that tab icons are drawn as simple, flat shapes as opposed to icons drawn in 3D or isometric projection.

Android OS and Android apps can run on a variety of different platforms using a wide range of hardware. In connection to icon images, those devices can have different display sizes, screen resolutions, pixel density and dimensions. To accommodate the wide range of displays, Android developers should supply all tab icons used in their apps in at least three resolutions to be displayed on low, medium, and high density displays. Resolution-wise, the outer boundaries for the three sizes are defined as 24x24, 32x32, and 48x48 pixels. The size of the shape itself should not exceed 22x22, 28x28, and 42x42 pixels respectively. By providing all three standard resolutions, designers can ensure that their apps will display properly on a variety of platforms running the Android OS.

Menu icons are used in the "options" menu, and are displayed to the user when they press the Menu button. Similar to tab icons, menu icons should be flat, greyscale images. Just as tab icons, developers cannot use 3D or isometric projections.

Screen sizes for menu icons are defined in a slightly more complex way as opposed to to tab icons. Instead of just two resolutions described for tab icons (inner shape and boundary box), the inner shape of menu icons can be smaller or bigger depending on whether they are square-shaped or not. If a menu icon is square-shaped, its resolution should be smaller than for icons shaped otherwise. The reason for specifying two different sizes is to establish a consistent visual size across the two icon types.

The outer dimensions for ldpi, mdpi and hdpi icons are defined as 36x36, 48x48, and 72x72 pixels respectively. Inner shapes for square, low-definition icons should be 22x22 pixels, while non-square icons should fit into a boundary box sized 24x24 pixels. Similarly, mdpi icons should fit 30x30 and 32x32 pixel boxes, while high-definition images should fit into 44x44 and 48x48 pixel boxes respectively.

Instead of drawing your own icons conforming to these guidelines, Android developers have an option of ordering ready-made icons from professional designers. For example, Android Tab Icons by Aha-Soft offer 112 unique tab icons in selected and unselected states and all standard sizes. If an additional size is needed, developers can produce images at any size by accessing scalable vector sources. Android Tab Icons can be previewed and downloaded at http://www.aha-soft.com/stock-icons/android-tab-icons.htm.

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Database Icon Set Database Icon Set brings you a variety of bright and colorful icons for database software development. The images are available in all the typical icon sizes and file formats include BMP, ICO, GIF and PNG.

People Icons for Vista People Icons for Vista illustrate people of various jobs, groups and family status. They are created in Vista style and come with or without shadows. Icons are provided in various formats and sizes.

Business Icon Set Business Icon Set is a library of fine-looking ready-made icons for use in programs and on Web projects. They are delivered in a variety of formats, sizes and color schemes.

Food Icon Library Your project will be more current and attractive with Food Icon Library. Color schemes include Windows XP and 8-bit formats. provided sizes are 16x16, 24x24, 32x32, and 48x48.

Toolbar Icon Set Toolbar Icon Set is a collection of royalty-free ready-made icons to be used in commercial and personal programs and websites. A variety of formats and sizes is provided.